Dar es Salaam. Election stakeholders have been challenged to prepare the youth for future elections, noting that that segment of society will constitute 70 per cent of the voting population come the year-2020 and 2025 general elections.
The call was made at the weekend during a capacity-building workshop for journalists on ‘African Governance Architecture’ (AGA).
This is the mechanism or framework of the African Union (AU) for dialogue among stakeholders mandated to promote good governance and bolster democracy in Africa.
Speaking during the workshop facilitated by ActionAid-Tanzania, the executive director of ‘Governance and Economic Policy Centre,’ Mr Moses Kulaba – who facilitated the training – said that, if well prepared, the youth stood a better chance of implementing shared values and AU’s ‘Agenda-2063.’
“Youths will constitute the majority of groups participating in future elections. Therefore, stakeholders should best prepare them to make them become the best leaders of tomorrow,” Mr Kulaba said.
In that regard, he called upon stakeholders – including the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and political parties – to collaborate in preparing youth development programs.
“Currently, I don’t see potentials of the youth in taking part in future elections by participating as electoral contesters, and casting their ballots to elect leaders according to the country’s needs,” Mr Kulaba noted, and stressed that stakeholders should act accordingly.
AGA functions are founded on the ‘African Charter for Democracy, Elections and Governance’ (ACDEG), which is an integral document stipulating the former’s functions and the challenges it faces including the lack of strong institutional connections.
According to Mr Kulaba, other challenges are lack of emphasis on good governance; clear elaboration of good governance within the AU; occasional interchange with governance, and lack of clear or presence of over-burdened structures within the AU to drive its implementation.
“Also, limited collaboration between AGA and its platform members – especially actions such as the ‘African Peer Review Mechanism’ (APRM) and poor domestication and popular knowledge about AGA in member states,” he said.
He outlined some AGA successes that included conducting joint election observation missions with platform members, and adopting rules of procedures legally defining the AGA mandate.
Others are the launching of ‘Project 2016: Africa’s year of Human Rights,’ focusing on women, and holding four high-level meetings that resulted in further consolidation between AGA platform members and other actors such as youth and civil society.